The consummate fly writing writer, John Gierach, nailed it - "fisherman know that autumn isn't really a season at all, just a time of year when the seasons change." After the dog days of August, September marks the transition, and October brings this atmospheric metamorphosis to completion.
Now, as our hemisphere tilts twenty-three-and-one-half degrees away from the sun, the heat produced by countless photons fades. Enter fall - the beginning of the end. But even among this certainty there is no rulebook or set quota of days that qualify as autumn. Instead, we're given Indian summers, or September snow. Still, darkness comes earlier as daylight inevitably dwindles, and peak colors in the trees drop to the ground and give way to a grey winter's sky.
Despite the inescapable slide, all is not lost. Under the water a different transformation gains steam - the fish that commandeer my thoughts to the point of obsession are on the way, chasing the promise of procreation from the inland oceans and into the arteries that feed them. For today, the sun and warmth remain; the leaves - just beginning to change to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red - hold tight to the trees.